The following is a brief summary of discussions held during an informational meeting of the GHSA Reclassification Committee on Monday, May 11, 2015 at the GHSA office in Thomaston. The committee met for the third time in a series to discuss proposals, plans and suggestions for the coming (Fall of 2015) reclassification cycle. No votes were taken at this meeting.
GHSA President Glenn White called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. Committee member Bruce Potts gave an invocation and Vice President Lisa Moore Williams led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. White then turned the meeting over to committee chair Earl Etheridge.
Etheridge presented a proposal which called for the formation of a "big 44" consisting of the 44 schools with the largest enrollments, leaving Class A with the public/private split as it is currently, and forming three classes in the middle (AA, AAA & AAAA), each of which would have an upper "tier" and a lower "tier." The result would be nine (9) state championships instead of the current seven (7).
In this proposal, 32 of the big 44 would advance to the playoffs, while private and "city" schools that draw more than certain percentage (yet to be determined) of their students from outside their designated attendance zones would move up in classification.
Several members of the committee asked questions and expressed support or advanced concerns about this proposal.
Committee member Dave Hunter then presented a modified proposal, calling for the same "big 44" at the top, and leaving Class A virtually unchanged at the bottom, but dividing the remaining schools into four traditional classifications of eight regions each, with the top four teams in each region advancing to the state playoffs. This would result in seven state championships, as is currently the case.
Under this modified proposal, their also would be a system whereby any school that draws a certain percentage of students from outside its designated attendance zone would have to move up in class. No school would be forced to move up more than one class, and no school could be moved up into the top most classification (6A).
There was much discussion, pro and con, about both proposals from the committee and it was agreed that the proposals would be studied further before a final idea is presented to the State Executive Committee in August.
Executive Director Gary Phillips then addressed the committee and outlined the timeframe for the reclass process, which will begin in earnest when the State Department of Education releases the new FTE numbers for each public school in the fall.
Etheridge then adjourned the meeting.
Below are proposals that were presented previously during the series of working meetings of the Reclassification Committee. If you click on the names of the primary speakers, you will see a copy of that person's proposal:
Mark Kelly, St. Pius (along with Rusty Hudson, Westminster and Tommy Marshall, Marist)
Click here to see a reclassification proposal presented at an earlier meeting by Don Corr, Cherokee County Board of Education.
Click here to see a reclassification proposal sent into the GHSA office by Region 1-AA representatives.